Dale Earnhardt picked up his first asphalt win at Metrolina Speedway; Track rezoned

Metrolina Speedway has been rotting away; Charlotte area property rezoned for retail

Metrolina Speedway first opened in 1952. Currently, it sits next to the Metrolina Expo on Old Statesville Road.

Like many old race tracks, the 1/2-mile was born as a dirt track. It was then converted to an asphalt track before being converted back to dirt once again.

While it was a paved oval, a young racer named Dale Earnhardt was just getting started. He drove to victory lane, claiming his first win on an asphalt oval.

Dale Earnhardt went on to claim 7 NASCAR Cup Series championships. That’s tied as the one time leader with Jimmie Johnson and Richard Petty.

The track operated until the mid-1990’s. Since, nature has been slowly reclaiming the race track.

Metrolina Speedway aerial
Metrolina Speedway aerial

Speedway Investment Group had plans to redevelop Metrolina Speedway in 2009

In 2009, Speedway Investment Group had plans to purchase the property. They had plans to pump $50,000,000 into a multi-purpose facility.

The project was set to include a 40,000 square foot building with retail space on the ground floor. The rooftop was set to have a skate park.

Also inside the building would be an electric go kart track. 150 hotel rooms were also part of the plan.

Additionally, they had plans to construct a new 3/8-mile asphalt oval. Short track racing was set to return.

Design Group, Inc was selected as the architect for the project. That’s the same company that designed the Z-Max Dragway across the street from Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“Our goal is to create an affordable family racing and entertainment destination with an amateur sports focus and we believe Charlotte is the prime location for it,” said Simon Weber, president of Speedway Investment Group.

“We are committed to revitalizing the property in a way that celebrates Metrolina’s rich history, embraces green technology and attracts national and international sports competitions as well as tourism dollars,” Weber concluded.

The first phase of the project was set to be completed in 2010. However, the project never got off the ground.

Instead, the speedway continued to rot.

Metrolina Speedway
Metrolina Speedway

Metrolina Speedway to be torn down

The track has sat without use for years. Nobody has touched it, even since the 2009 project. But, that is about to change…

On Monday night, Charlotte City Council held a meeting to consider rezoning the facility. That vote has passed.

The land has been rezoned. It will now be allowed for industrial use. The plan is to convert the property into retail space.

However, one thing from the race track has been saved. Several years ago, Dale Earnhardt Jr restored the original sign from the race track.


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